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In 2018, the (CDC) Centers for Disease Control released a detailed study on how many Americans consumed fast food. Unfortunately, the numbers are grim. As many as forty percent reported enjoying fast food during dinner almost daily.
In other words, as many as one out of every three Americans consume fast food during dinner every night. Fast food is notoriously rich in unhealthy fats, sodium, and calories that can affect your heart health. Many of the reasons people opt for fast food are the convenience and lack of information on how to cook healthy dinners.
Five simple tips to follow to make dinners healthier and avoid the fast-food line:
Measure and Weigh Everything
Don’t allow yourself to eyeball anything. Be precise with measurements and purchase a food scale. Taking out a scale is not as difficult as it sounds. It is only one extra step. Once you get used to using it as you cook and prepare your meals, you wish you always had one. It is a simple way to ensure you get the right number of servings and calories as you cook, saving you money and weight gain.
Load Up on Vegetables
Incorporate as many vegetables as you can by simply roasting, boiling, or steaming them. Adding as many herbs as you can, salt, pepper, and olive oil enhances their flavor and texture, making them even more enjoyable to consume.
Bake or Broil Don’t Fry
The way you prepare your foods is just as important as the foods you pick to eat. Frying your foods holds onto more oils that make even healthy foods higher in calories and is not a good decision to make. Baking or boiling your foods ensures you get the most nutrients from your foods. Reducing fried foods is essential to prevent weight gain and cancer.
Take Advantage of Herbs
Herbs are flavorful and can make a meal with the same base ingredients different. For example, rosemary chicken or lemon and cilantro roasted chicken. Each of these meals offers a unique flavor without too much work.
Keep Fat and Sodium Minimal
The most important and beneficial part about cooking at home is controlling the amount and types of sodium or fat you use to cook with. Using olive oil instead of vegetable oil is a simple change to protect your heart.
Believe it or not, you have the time and ability to cook your own healthy dinners. The convenience fast foods provide are not worth the weight gain and decreased life expectancy. Instead, you need the right tools and information to get started on the right track. Follow these tips every time you cook your dinners to make adopting a healthy diet and lifestyle easy, enjoyable, and stress-free.
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